Your pooch is probably a valued member of your family, deserving of quality nutrition just like your children. When her tail is wagging, your heart is melting, as she brings your family an incredible amount of compassion and security. Just like she is always there for you, with her nose wet from unconditional love, you should be there for her.
Many normal problems like skin irritations, allergens and viruses can be eliminated with a proper diet. Just like people, dogs have a sensitive stomach that needs to be catered to with diligence. The result will leave your doggy with a beautiful coat, a healthy dietary tract and a better quality of life.
When my dog was sick, and I mean sick, I did what every respectable dog owner does and I took her to our local vet. This was not my first visit; as this was one of nearly ten. Every trip to the vet left me deeper in debt, with no improvement in my dog’s health.
She suffered from a topical yeast infection that left her skin flakey, dry and mange-looking. The infection spread to her ears and she was in a constant state of discomfort. My vet had us try many antibiotics, washes and shots; none of which cured the problem. The steroids she was put on left her bedridden and only took care of about 1/4 of her skin issues. Once we ended the cycle of medications, she was in pain again and right back where she started. This, as you can imagine, was frustrating.
A Bit of Research Goes A Long Way
After doing a bit of research, I decided to go against my vet’s judgment and I altered her food regimen. We went to our animal health food store and picked up a large bag of meal that contained no gluten, soy, corn or additives. I began adding Vitamin C (for her immune system), Glucosamine (for her achy joints) and fish oil (for her fur and skin). I crushed up the vitamins and gave them to her in each meal with a swig of olive oil (to mask the unsavory powder while adding a bit more oil for her coat).
The result was more than scrumptious for my dog, as she lapped it up with delight. Twice a day I misted her problematic areas with a solution of 1/4 white vinegar, 1/4 hydrogen peroxide and 1/2 distilled water. Within one month, all of her skin problems were gone.
After talking to many other people who experienced the same problems, I found that this was an ongoing trend. Research online lead me to see that the constant visits to the vet were not holistic and simply cushioned our vet’s wallet. Now that we have a little more money (because we are no longer in debt with our veterinarian) we have switched to a raw diet.
Since switching, her coat and health has only improved. She went from looking like a malnourished and abused dog to a pet worthy of being on a magazine cover. Her coat and teeth sparkle and she has more energy than ever, and she is seven years old.
The Truth About What Goes Into Your Everyday Dry Dog Food
The truth about normal, “shelf” dog foods is that they contain, like I stated, many unnecessary “fillers” and “additives.” Ingredients like cornmeal, grains, beans and “soy” are not easily digested by most dogs. Domestic dogs have been consuming these “dry dog foods” for only 80 years, which evolutionarily speaking, is not enough time for the dog’s stomach to adapt. In addition, the crops from which these additives are yielded are drenched in toxic pesticides, preservatives and chemicals.
The foundations which overlook the production of these “dog foods” don’t have the same standards of quality that people-food has. In addition, the ingredients on the bags of dog food are seldom accurate. Apparently, they make a batch, claim the ingredients, and then are able to slip in whatever they want after the initial production.
Not only this, but the actual quality of the meat is not made public. If you want to give your dog the same quality of food that your family is consuming, try and make your own RAW dog food. As with all environmentally friendly products, purchase all of the ingredients at the same organic stores that you shop at. At least you will know what she is actually consuming.
A Prerequisite to Raw Dog Food:
- 1 lb. of raw food for every 50 lbs. of your dog’s weight.
- Make sure to start simple; see what your dog likes, dislikes and can tolerate.
- In order to save time, try preparing all of your pooches meals at once, then individually freezing them.
- As always, consult your vet about the transition. They can offer useful information concerning your dog’s previous health problems and breed.
What You Want:
- 60-80% raw meaty bones.
- 20-40% veggies, meats, offal, eggs, cottage cheese.
What You Don’t Want:
- Some dogs are allergic to dairy; take precaution.
- No grains or corn.
General Meats to Use:
- Chicken, turkey, lamb, duck, beef, pork, fish and buffalo.
Meaty Bones, Which may be Ground up, Include:
- Chicken wings, chicken necks, chicken backs, turkey necks, turkey backs, turkey wings, pig feet, beef neck bones, ox tail.
- Make sure to puree the veggies, as the dog’s digestive system will have a much easier time breaking down the fibers.
- carrots, pumpkin, squash, asparagus, romaine, kale, beets, yams and turnips.
Just like the veggies, try and puree any fruits which you wish to add.
- Oranges, apples and bananas. Make sure they are pitted.
- A small amount of garlic (for her immune system).
- Oils such as flax oil, olive oil, primrose and fish oil.
- Vitamins (make sure you are giving the correct amount at the right times of day).
- Probiotics, which may help with your dog’s digestion during the initial transition.
As with any change of diet, is is necessary to monitor your dog’s behavior and reactions. Take notice of her stool and general mood. Your dog may be reluctant in the first stages of the switch, but if you slowly ease her into it, she shouldn’t have any problems adapting.
Be careful of hazardous foods like coffee, chocolate, onions, nuts and salt. During the first few weeks of transition, try and keep her raw food the same, as just the switch to raw food alone could upset her stomach. After some time has passed, you will be able to see which foods your doggy prefers and which ones she dislikes.
Customizing her food will give her the balanced, natural and chemical-free alternative her sick body might be needing. Keep in mind that when going raw, bones are easily digestible. So go ahead and give “your dog a bone,” because she deserves it.
About the Author:
Lexa Mehan, self-confessed day-time-TV junkie, works in the comfort of her own home with her dog Pekoe. She loves coffee and board games. Active traveler and hiker, Lexa loves the freedom of the outdoors. When she isn’t writing about the importance of going green, she is checking updates on sites like www.ecohomeinspired.com for new ideas. Lexa finds herself writing poetry when she isn’t freelancing.